The SPH-M100, which was also known as the Samsung UpRoar when it sold on the Sprint network in the US, was a hugely significant device as it was the world’s first mobile phone with an MP3 player.
The phone had 32MB of built-in memory which allowed seven to ten music tracks to be stored when encoded at a 128 Kbps data rate. The MP3 player was controlled from the handset or via the remote control that was part of the headphones’ cord. As well as controlling the volume, users could play, stop and skip through tracks using the remote. The battery was capable of lasting for 10 hours of continuous audio playback.
Music was added using a cable that connected from the phone to a PC’s parallel port using MP3 Manager software that Samsung supplied with the phone.
Samsung also had to think about what would happen when a call was received as this was a completely new use-case. If a user was listening to music when the phone rang, the music was paused, and the user could press a button on the remote to receive the call. The call could be ended by pressing the button again. Notably, the music did not resume playing on its own once the call had ended.
The phone was a premium device priced at $400 when it launched which was considered extremely expensive at the time.
Another notable feature was the phone’s distinctive green backlight which could be set to switch on and off as the flip was opened and closed.
The Samsung M100 was named one of the top 100 gadgets of all time by Time Magazine